SwordQuest - AirWorld © 1983 Atari, Inc.
An unreleased prototype.
While the actual prototype of AirWorld has not been found yet, programmer Tod Frye confirmed that the game was at least started: 'AirWorld was based on the I Ching. It was never fully playable, but I was psyched to be doing it. One flew around in a (sort of) first person flying scenario with 64 hexagrams on the horizon, dodging some stuff in the air and picking some other stuff. When you picked up a certain token, you entered the 'in hexagram' phase, where you locked on a hexagram of your choice on the horizon, and it zoomed up to fill the screen, where you played one of 64 simple games. The 64 simple games never got finished - too ambitious.' It appears that Frye was pulled off of AirWorld to work on Xevious after the original programmer wasn't making enough progress. With no programmer left to finish AirWorld the game was cancelled and the contest scrapped. Ironically Xevious was never released either.
Sadly the comic book for AirWorld does not exist. According to artist George Perez: 'No, there was no AirWorld story ever written or drawn. The whole SwordQuest project was terminated by Atari before we could even start on the art. Roy Thomas and Gerry Conway may have worked out some sort of plot synopsis dealing in the generalities of that final chapter for Atari approval, but it never got to plot form.' However, some AirWorld box and label artwork does exist.
Programmer: Tod Frye